Talara, Peru - Polarsteps
Talara, Peru: Population: around 125,000. Talara is a small city on the northern Pacific coast of Peru. Therefore, it sits at only 15 meters elevation on average. The town is surrounded by brown desert cliffs, on top of which are a military base and the main road out to the Pan-American Highway.
Talara is an oil town. They have a refinery and the landscape outside the city is dotted with oil well pumps and many pipes snake their way across the dusty desert. And, when I say dusty desert, it's not an understatement. Here it does rain, but very rarely. Out in the desert, there is no vegetation of any kind, the only trees, bushes, and other plants start to appear near the beach and in towns where people have planted them.
In 1916, the oil field workers went on strike, and it ended up being a violent strike with four people dead. Finally, the strike ended and the workers got everything they demanded.
So, my impressions: The city center has an interesting design. If you look at the streets on a map you'll see an area that has streets that outline a fish, and just below that a square with rounded corners. The main business district is in the streets that join those two areas. Whether or not it was meant to look like that I don't know. Being a desert beach town it is sandy and dusty, and there's no getting away from the sand or dirt. The town has a pedestrian-only street through the center of town, and many others in those two before-mentioned areas. There are many small parks and plazas spread throughout. It's a decent enough small city, but it can't be easy keeping one's home clean of all the dust, dirt, and sand.
My South America Journey